Labor Relations

Negotiations Recap for March 9, 2015

This recap details the fourth bargaining session between the UW and the UWHA to form the first union contract for UW medical and dental residents and fellows (collectively referred to below as “trainees”).

UWHA Proposals

Professional Fees – UWHA proposed that UW reimburse all residents for several fees, including the cost of the USMLE Step 3 examination and the limited medical or dental license in Washington State (or applicable state or country), as well as reimbursement up to the cost of a limited license for those residents seeking a full provider license.

UWHA also proposed language to ensure that all mandatory certification trainings (e.g., ACLS, PALS) are provided free of charge, and that residents are eligible for reimbursement in the event they must register with a program outside of UW.

Leaves of Absence – UWHA proposed adding and expanding several paid leave types, including:

  • Serious Illness Leave: Up to six months of paid leave every three years for injury or illness that is seriously disabling or chronic.
  • Pregnancy and Childbirth Leave: Up to six weeks of paid leave for the time in which a trainee is sick or unable to fully perform required duties because of pregnancy or childbirth. UWHA proposed that overnight call not be scheduled and that duty be limited to 12 consecutive hours during the last trimester of pregnancy and two months post-partum.
  • Parental Leave: At least 10 calendar days of paid leave for a father or same-sex domestic partner, to be granted any time from known conception to 12 months after delivery or adoption of a child.
  • Bereavement Leave: Two additional days of bereavement leave for cases where significant travel is required.
  • Educational Leave: At least five days of paid leave per year for activities related to a trainee’s educational program, including to present research or other scholarly work at a professional meeting or to sit for exams.
  • Interview Leave: At least five days of paid leave per year to attend job, residency, or fellowship interviews.
  • Holidays: UWHA proposed enabling trainees who are assigned any clinical responsibilities on one of the 10 UW holidays to either be paid for an additional day (1/364 of their annual salary) or receive a day off in lieu of each holiday worked. UWHA also proposed allowing trainees to substitute their own religious holidays for up to two of the UW’s holidays per academic year.

Other components of UWHA’s proposal included allowing for trainees to use sick leave in partial-day increments in order to attend medical appointments, and ensuring that trainees will not experience a loss in pay for jury duty.

Grievance Procedure – UWHA made several proposals related to grievance procedure, including:

  • Filing: UWHA proposed allowing the union 60 days from an incident (or knowledge thereof) to file a grievance or to provide notice of its intent to file a grievance. If the latter, the union would have 30 days from providing notice to file an actual grievance.
  • Process: UWHA proposed including the GME Office in Step One of the grievance process. UWHA proposed language encouraging trainees to resolve disagreements with their program, and clarifying that a trainee may not file a grievance without UWHA’s permission. UWHA proposed requiring UW’s written response to cite the specific contract article in question and provide a reasonable explanation regarding its interpretation.
  • Grievance Committee: UWHA proposed a committee to hear Step Two grievances composed of current Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC) members, including two faculty chosen by the GMEC Chair and two residents chosen by UWHA (excluding members of the programs involved in the dispute). The committee would issue a written consensus statement of its findings and recommend a course of action. Either party disagreeing with the proposed course of action may appeal the committee’s decision and proceed to Step Three.

UW Proposals

Nondiscrimination – UW proposed language affirming the parties’ mutual commitment to not discriminate against any employee based on any classification, including discrimination in the form of sexual harassment. The language also highlights resources available to any employee in need of filing a discrimination complaint.

Moonlighting Discussion

UW reported that it met with program directors from three surgical programs to discuss moonlighting. UW also circulated a survey asking all programs whether they allow moonlighting and under what circumstances, and if not, what parameters would be required if they were to consider allowing it. Of the 77 programs that responded, 61 reported that they allowed moonlighting and 16 reported they did not.

UW shared draft criteria for moonlighting in all programs that were brainstormed as part of these discussions:

  1. In good standing (e.g., not in remediation).
  2. Appropriate licensure (e.g., full MD license, paid DEA).
  3. In compliance with duty hours (including call).
  4. In compliance with Medicare rules and regulations.
  5. Non-operative clinical care only.
  6. In compliance with NIH grant restrictions.
  7. In compliance with program-specific requirements.

Next Steps

The next UW-UWHA bargaining session is scheduled for March 23.